Sunday, 19 February 2017

French Conquest of Algeria 1830s-40s

I've come back to this one, inspired after a couple of games (FFL in the 1950s and WWII LRDG) on some simply beautiful scratch built terrain by Lucky Pete Reynold of the Skirmish Wargames Collective. The buildings, city walls, gateways etc, with his lovely big mosque and minaret just cried out for red legged French infantry and multicolored Algerians to be whirling bayonet to scimitar!

I have my box of Conte, CTS etc Mexicans out and am about to start on my first unit of French infantry. I am going for 12 figure units, 4 grenadiers, 4 voltigeurs and 4 fusiliers. (I know this is not historical but it will look great IMHO, so please no pedants). Wrong belting detail doesn't bother me either (sorry) but I will replace weedy pompoms on helmets, and add epaulette fringes.

I think a unit of FFL, either from the Conte but with casquette d'afrique in place of the shako, or perhaps AIP FFL with the kepi built up ditto and a unit of Light Infantry (probably anachronistically in the 1834 regulations uniform rather than 1830, which is too like the line IMHO, to distinguish them more, ie all dark blue with yellow trim) should be enough for the 'ordinary' infantry.

I have some AIP Zouves left from previous projects, but am picking some bargains from Andy Harfield in his Retiring Sale to do some more infantry. I reckon 1 unit in the earliest Tirailleur Algerien 1831-41 red fez, brown trimmed black jacket and shirt and grey trousers; 1 in the 1841-5 uniform of green jackets (shirt colour?, and red trousers; and 1 of Zouaves with red turbans should be the next tranche.

Does anyone have a source of especially inspiring visual eye candy?


  1. I am really slow on the uptake. I never connected Mike Blake and Botch until just now. And this is the first visit to your blog, but I'm sure, not the last! My personal inspiration for this period is Edouard Detaille's illustration of the Light Infantry of Africa. Taking of Couraia (1833). It's in L'Armee Francaise book, but I recall seeing it "in the flesh" on my first and only trip to Les Invalides when I was 16 and it stuck with me for the next almost half a century. There's something about those destroyed heavy cannon on their naval carriages and the French officer in his frock coat carrying a curved cavalry sabre that really gets to me. So, if I do continue with this mad additional period, I will do my best to replicate those uniforms: greatcoat, belly pouch and that darned, tall cylindrical kepi!

  2. Yes, we are one and the same. The wargaming nickname goes back a long way...
    Good luck with the project - keep me/us posted, and I will try to do the same.

  3. I am going to take a look at the ICM 1/35 French Line Infantry 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War # 35061. They are in the buttoned back greatcoat. Hopefully, all I will have to do is add height to the kepi with green stuff. And add a belly pouch. Worst case, if they don't work out, I can use them for my Maximilian French in Mexico.

  4. Neat idea - but 1/35th? Wont they be a tad small? Why not the AIP FFL?

  5. I never connected Mike Blake and Botch until just now. And this is the first visit to your blog,

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